Belarus: US, EU, UK and Canada impose fresh sanctions

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In a joint assertion, the companions mentioned they had been “united in our deep concern relating to the Lukashenka regime’s persevering with assaults on human rights, basic freedoms, and worldwide regulation.”

“Right now, we’ve taken coordinated sanctions motion in response to the Could twenty third pressured touchdown of a business Ryanair flight between two EU member states and the politically motivated arrest of journalist Raman Pratasevich and his companion Sofia Sapega, in addition to to the persevering with assault on human rights and basic freedoms,” the assertion mentioned.

Pratasevich, a critic of Lukashenko, was arrested after his Ryanair flight from Greece to Lithuania was pressured to land in Minsk. The diversion of the flight and his arrest sparked worldwide outcry, and Pratasevich’s appearances on Belarusian state tv have prompted opposition members and observers to recommend he confirmed indicators of being tortured.

In a separate assertion Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced visa restrictions on 46 officers “for his or her involvement in undermining or injuring establishments in Belarus, making these people typically ineligible for entry into the US.”

“These people maintain key positions within the Presidential Administration, State Safety Committee of the Republic of Belarus (Belarusian KGB), Ministry of Inner Affairs, Investigative Committee, Ministry of Info, Ministry of Sport and Tourism, State Border Committee, Ministry of Well being, Constitutional Court docket, Prosecutor Common’s Workplace, and district courts in Minsk,” he mentioned.

The US Treasury Division sanctioned a further 16 people and 5 entities, together with Lukashenko’s press secretary and his former chief of workers, who at present serves as chairperson of the Council of the Republic of the Nationwide Meeting.

“The individuals designated in the present day have harmed the individuals of Belarus by their actions surrounding the fraudulent August 9, 2020, presidential election in Belarus and the following brutal crackdown on protesters, journalists, members of the opposition, and civil society,” the Treasury Division mentioned in a press launch Monday.

US Ambassador to Belarus Julie Fisher advised lawmakers in early June that new sanctions had been coming “quickly,” and one supply advised CNN that the Biden administration tried to announce these sanctions throughout President Joe Biden’s first worldwide journey — earlier than he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin — however the EU was unable to get on the identical timetable and the US determined to attend and transfer alongside its allies. Biden mentioned in a press convention following the assembly that he mentioned Belarus throughout his assembly with Putin in Geneva.

The European Union introduced sanctions on 78 Belarusian people and eight entities on Monday after a International Affairs Council assembly attended by Belarusian opposition chief Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

Belarus lashes out at the US, reducing embassy staff numbers

“Seven people and one entity topic to this new spherical of restrictive measures had been designated in connection to the pressured and illegal touchdown of a Ryanair flight in Minsk, Belarus, on 23 Could 2021, endangering aviation security, and the detention by Belarusian authorities of journalist Raman Pratasevich and Sofia Sapega. Amongst these focused are additionally a number of outstanding enterprise figures who assist and profit from the Lukashenko regime,” the Council of the EU mentioned in an announcement.

The Canadian International Ministry introduced sanctions on 17 people and 5 entities.

The UK imposed sanctions on seven people and one entity “in response to the detention of journalist Roman Protasevich and Sofia Sapega following the illegal diversion of Ryanair flight FR4978 in Could 2021,” the International and Commonwealth Workplace mentioned in an announcement,

“4 people and 1 entity have additionally been designated in response to the continued suppression of democracy and human rights in Belarus by Lukashenko and his regime,” it mentioned.

CNN’s Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.

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